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Brain Injuries

Brain Injuries from Car Accidents

Car accidents are one of the main causes of brain injuries. The brain can get injured by both hitting an object, such as a steering wheel or windshield, or by being injured through whiplash, where the head gets whipped back and forth, causing the brain to get shaken inside the skull.

The brain is soft and vulnerable, which is why it is housed securely inside the skull. However, in a car accident the impact may be so great that the brain can tear, bruise and bleed, as a result of getting slammed against a hard object such as the skull. A brain injury may pose a serious risk to the victim. Here are the signs of a brain injury to look for after a car accident:

  • Loss of capacities in senses, especially blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Stiff neck
  • Vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Memory loss
  • Changes in pupil size, sometimes unequal sizes from eye to eye
  • Swelling or bruising of the face at the sight of injury
  • Changes in behavior such as irritability
  • Seizures and paralysis
  • Fluid draining from nose, mouth and ears

Brain Injuries from Birth

Infants may also experience brain injury as a result of negligence or error during childbirth. Trauma to the brain is a serious injury, and the effects of a brain injury sustained during birth can last a lifetime.

Symptoms may not occur immediately, but may arise after a few hours or even a few days following a car accident. It is always important to seek medical attention after an auto wreck to ensure that any medical concerns are immediately and fully addressed.

Brain injuries are often the result of oxygen deprivation. If an newborn’s brain is starved of oxygen, blood flow can be interrupted, and the consequences can be severe. Some brain-related injuries due to lack of oxygen include:

Cerebral palsy is one of the most common birth-related brain injuries. It is estimated that cerebral palsy affects around 760,000 children. Cerebral palsy can occur as the result of Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), or lack of oxygen to the brain, Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL), or damage to brain tissue, or brain hemorrhaging. Children who develop cerebral palsy may have difficulty with coordination, muscle control, motor skills and speech.

Unfortunately, these conditions can and sometimes do occur as a result of negligence. Doctors have a responsibility to monitor fetal distress and intervene, if possible, before an injury. Corrective measures like monitoring and treating infection and undertaking and emergency C-section may be needed, and physicians should be prepared to act when necessary.

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